Film Production faculty are dedicated and successful working professionals in the entertainment industry.
Jordan is a multiple award-winning writer and producer of film, television, and interactive media for Canadian and international markets. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre and a long-term faculty member of the school’s film production program, Jordan’s work has been screened at dozens of prestigious film festivals including TIFF, Cannes, and Slamdance. His productions have been released in theatres in over a dozen countries, showcased on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, and broadcasted on HBO, Sky TV, Crave, CBC, Bravo! and Super Channel.
Jordan produced the 2019 sci-fi comedy drama James vs. His Future Self. It won four awards in the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, including “Best Canadian Film”, and was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards, including “Best Screenplay”. The film also has a 100% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, and is listed in the New York Times’ article “5 Science-Fiction Movies to Stream Now”. His 2015 comedy hit How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town was praised by the L.A. Times as being “hilarious”, a film that “goes to surprising and bold places.” The film had its U.S. premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival, a showcase for raw and innovative filmmaking.
Jordan has collaborated with some of the most talented people in entertainment, including Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, Emmy-nominated Vincent D’Onofrio, and Academy Award nominated writer and director Lawrence Kasdan.
Check out Jordan’s IMDb page for his complete filmography.
Dusty Mancinelli is a writer, producer and director working alongside his longtime collaborator, Madeleine Sims-Fewer. Madeleine and Dusty met at the 2015 TIFF Talent Lab and experienced an instant convergence of minds, quickly joining forces as a filmmaking team. Highly focused on a naturalistic performance style and visual aesthetic, their films explore gender politics, the selfishness of human nature, and abuse of power. Their first collaboration together was the short film SLAP HAPPY, which screened at BFI London Film Festival, VIFF and Slamdance, among others. Their next short, WOMAN IN STALL, won the Jury Award for Narrative Student Short at the Austin Film Festival and the Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance. Their latest short, CHUBBY, had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and won the Silver Dragon award for best director at the Krakow Film Festival. Their debut feature, VIOLATION, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival where Madeleine was selected as a TIFF Rising Star. VIOLATION won the Emerging Canadian Artist award at the Calgary International Film Festival, the Emerging Canadian Director award at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and was nominated for a Directors Guild of Canada Discovery Award. Most recently, VIOLATION had its international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Texas premiere at SXSW, and has been nominated for 5 Canadian Screen Awards, including the John Dunning Best First Feature Film Award.
Jeffrey St. Jules is the first Canadian to have been selected for the Cannes Festival Residence where he developed his feature film debut, BANG BANG BABY starring Jane Levy (Don’t Breathe), Justin Chatwin (Shameless) and Peter Stormare (Fargo). Bang Bang Baby premiered at TIFF where it was awarded Best First Canadian Feature. It was also the winner of the top prize at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the award for Outstanding Debut Feature Film at the Canadian Screen Awards.
He has been described as ‘Canada’s master of the surreal short form’ by The Globe and Mail and ‘One of the most brazenly original voices to come out of Canada in the past 10 years’ by TIFF. His much-lauded shorts include THE SADNESS OF JOHNSON JOE JANGLES, which played over 40 festivals worldwide, THE TRAGIC STORY OF NLING, which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival and named the best short film of 2007 by Film Threat, and LET THE DAYLIGHT INTO THE SWAMP, an experimental 3D documentary which was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and won Best of the Festival at the Yorkton Film Festival. All three films had their premiere at TIFF. He has recently completed his second feature film as writer/director entitled CINEMA OF SLEEP which recently premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Michael Paszt is one of the most respected names in the arena of independent film. A Managing Partner in Raven Banner Entertainment, Michael has focused on building a brand that represents unique genre-driven films including THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, GASPAR NOE’S CLIMAX, TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID and the Oscar-nominated, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. Michael has also Executive Produced over 30 feature films including PSYCHO GOREMAN, the Sundance Film Festival hit, TURBO KID and SHUDDER ORIGINAL, VHS94. Michael originally began his career as a director on music videos working with metal bands such as Sacrifice and Anvil. His feature documentary debut, NAIL IN THE COFFIN: THE FALL AND RISE OF VAMPIRO premiered at Austin, TX’s Fantastic Fest and was Nominated Best Sports Documentary by Film Threat’s AwardThis!
Craig McKay began his career as a music producer before moving into the Film and Television industry. Craig has spent nearly two decades working as an editor, director, producer, and writer for television, specializing in developing unscripted content for major North American production companies. Working with US and Canadian networks like MTV, YTV, HGTV, Discovery, and History Channel, his credits include key creative roles on popular shows including THE BACHELOR, YUKON GOLD, RESTAURANT MAKEOVER, E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY, DISNEY’S CHEER STARS, and many others. Craig’s passion for training students in the art of film editing and storytelling lead him to join Toronto Film School as an instructor in 2010 and as the Director of the Editing Dept in 2018.
Until mid-2016, Bruno S. Lyra was a corporate lawyer. Having become one of the youngest senior partner in the history of his 60+ year firm, Lyra acquired extensive experience in media-heavy international events (such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games) and the entertainment industry as a whole (counting among his key clients some of the largest broadcasters, streamers, and content providers in the world). Since making the switch to film, Lyra has devoted his time to both producing (credits include the award-winning feature film THE SOUNDING, which sold to HBO in 17 territories, as well as the ongoing series FIRST PERSON, now in its second season, screened at TIFF and Cannes) and screenwriting (recent highlights include a deal with Blue Ant Media for his TV show IDENTITIES and one of his feature film projects being selected for development financing by Telefilm). A Latinx immigrant to Canada, Lyra also consults for different productions and teaches Copyright/Contracts in Film and Film Financing at the Toronto Film School.
Darrel has been dedicated to the entertainment industry for over 35 years. His career began as a musician in the studio and music scene of 80s Minneapolis. His travels brought him to Toronto where he acquired an appreciation for the art and history of audio and chose to devote his career to Post Production, from sound design to final delivery. Today, Darrel embraces digital technology, while holding onto the purity and honesty of the audio art form. Darrel has been an instructor for over 15 years, and together with Rick Bennett’s team, helped build the Film Production program at Toronto Film School.
Phyllis Newman is a creative media veteran – having spent over 25 years working as a Showrunner, Development Producer, Writer and Media Consultant on numerous television and digital series.
Phyllis has achieved great success in producing highly-rated Canadian and international television programs and formats. She is known for creating informative, engaging and entertaining content for a diverse and discriminating audience. Some of her credits include: Pure Design, Love Trap, Party Mamas, and Hollywood Death Trip. She has developed and produced non-fiction programming for: W Network, Cosmo TV, YTV, OWN, Slice, Life Network, City-TV, HGTV, E! Network, and Bravo! to name a few.
As Vice President of Production at Eggplant Media, Phyllis oversaw the development and production slate of pilots, specials, and series for U.S. Broadcasters.
Phyllis has worked as a Casting Director with Anne Tait Casting where she cast dramatic series and feature films, and as a Talent Agent with The Edward G. Agency, representing actors for film and television.
Phyllis co-created and produced season one of “Finding Your Bliss”, a live health and wellness radio and podcast show for Zoomer Media. She is also a College Instructor at the Toronto Film School teaching Factual Entertainment to aspiring content creators. Currently, Phyllis has a number of series in development.
Michaelangelo started as a marketing coordinator for an independent film company just as consumers of at home movie viewing turned their attention away from DVDs and to online platforms. His creative background paired with his knowledge and experience of doing business in this new era of digital content consumption has fuelled and informed all his productions and now helps him manage the complete picture at Raven Banner Entertainment a film distribution company responsible for Wyrmwood (2014), Borealis (2015), Turbo Kid (2015) and Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End (2016) to name a short handful. In his position at Raven Banner, Michaelangelo has had the opportunity to represent the Canadian distribution market in such places as Berlin, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Cannes. In 2014 as a co-founding member, he saw the launch of TOM* (Toronto Men’s Fashion Week) grow to be an international sensation garnering $25 million media valuation and now launching TW (Toronto Women’s Fashion Week) in March 2017.
Madeleine Sims-Fewer is an actor, writer, director and producer working alongside her longtime collaborator, Dusty Mancinelli. Madeleine and Dusty met at the 2015 TIFF Talent Lab and experienced an instant convergence of minds, quickly joining forces as a filmmaking team. Highly focused on a naturalistic performance style and visual aesthetic, their films explore gender politics, the selfishness of human nature, and abuse of power. Their first collaboration together was the short film SLAP HAPPY, which screened at BFI London Film Festival, VIFF and Slamdance, among others. Their next short, WOMAN IN STALL, won the Jury Award for Narrative Student Short at the Austin Film Festival and the Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance. Their latest short, CHUBBY, had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and won the Silver Dragon award for best director at the Krakow Film Festival. Their debut feature, VIOLATION, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival where Madeleine was selected as a TIFF Rising Star. VIOLATION won the Emerging Canadian Artist award at the Calgary International Film Festival, the Emerging Canadian Director award at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and was nominated for a Directors Guild of Canada Discovery Award. Most recently, VIOLATION had its international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Texas premiere at SXSW, and has been nominated for 5 Canadian Screen Awards, including the John Dunning Best First Feature Film Award.
Colin Aussant is a Toronto-based screenwriter with a bent for comedy, dramady, thrillers and anything with a little edge and originality. As a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Feature and TV Bootcamp programmes, Colin has a variety of projects in development including: THE INVISIBLES, pre-production, feature, co-written with Andrew Currie (Anagram/Quadrant Pictures) with Telefilm development funding, actors Lucy Liu and Tim Blake Nelson attached; HOLMES, one-hour drama series, co-creator/writer (Circle Blue entertainment); ACID TOWN, one-hour drama series, creator/writer (Counterfeit Pictures); 1991, half-hour comedy series, creator/writer, (Hoodwink Productions). Former projects include FISHBAT .45, creator/writer, half-hour animated comedy series (Teletoon Network); CRUDE, half-hour comedy series, creator/writer (Showcase Network). Colin’s other achievements include winning a Praxis National Screenwriting Fellowship for his original feature screenplay SLAPPING AL CAPONE, and having a short film, PEEP, produced by Universal Studios.
Since childhood, Leah’s been fascinated by any form of storytelling. An avid reader, Leah started writing plays and short stories which led to a love of theatre. Directing offered a mix of all of her passions, and Leah was fortunate to direct several plays in high school including a successful Fringe Festival play.
In 2004, Leah and her brother, Jordan, founded Neophyte Productions, an audience-driven production company that has produced 6 International Theatrical Feature Films, hours of Television Content and more than a dozen short films that have screened at festivals around the world including TIFF and Slamdance and played at theatres in more than 20 countries. Many of the shorts and two of the feature films were written and directed by Leah including THE THIRD EYE which was called “A Bizarre and Chilling Thriller” by The Boston Globe and went on to play for two years on Super Channel. Leah’s sophomore film, THE PRIVILEGED, starring Sam Trammell from TRUE BLOOD and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and Josh Close of FARGO, had a successful festival run and theatrical released followed by broadcast on Crave TV as one of their most watched Canadian films of the year. Since her last film, Leah has moved into Television Development and has become a sought after Story Editor working on screenplays from notable Production Companies including Resonance Films and Goodbye Productions. Most recently, Leah is completing an adaption of a novel to direct as her third feature film. In addition, Leah takes great pleasure in guiding and inspiring the next generation of international filmmakers.
One of the founding partners of Raven Banner, Andrew Thomas Hunt is a Writer/Producer/Director with over 30 years of industry experience. Andrew’s feature-length debut SWEET KARMA premiered at the 2009 Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, and was the catalyst for the formation of Raven Banner Entertainment – a worldwide sales company specializing in genre films. In 2012 Raven Banner Releasing was formed as the Canadian distribution arm for RBE, releasing such titles as AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, TURBO KID, DEATHGASM, BASKIN, TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL: THE END OF THE END, COME TRUE, and Gaspar Noe’s CLIMAX. In 2015 Northern Banner Releasing was formed to focus on non-genre films, such as Academy Award Nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MAKI, HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN, HELLO DESTROYER, SAINT NARCISSE, and THE PAINTED BIRD. Additionally, Andrew has Executive Produced over two dozen ﬁlms including; V/H/S 94, NAIL IN THE COFFIN, BOREALIS, STAKELANDER, AVENGED, SXSW favorite PSYCHO GOREMAN, and Slamdance Audience Award winner SHOOT TO MARRY. In 2018 Andrew got behind the camera again as director for his sophomore feature SPARE PARTS which had its World Premiere at Korea’s prestigious BIFAN Film Festival and its European Premiere at Sitges. In 2020 Andrew directed his third feature, the Craig Davidson (Rust & Bone) penned THE FIGHT MACHINE, which is currently in post-production.
Alexander (Sandy) Carson is a Canadian filmmaker whose work explores the intersection of collective practice and personal storytelling. Carson’s films have been screened at events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, the Reykjavik International Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival, where he received the Golden Gate Award for New Visions in 2014. His critically acclaimed first feature film as writer/director, O, Brazen Age, was released in 2015, and he is currently in pre-production on a new feature film, Alberta Number One, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Telefilm Canada. His recent book chapter, “Quarantine Cinema: Teaching Film Directing during COVID-19” is collected in the anthology Teaching in the Post COVID-19 Era: World Education Dilemmas, Teaching Innovations and Solutions in the Age of Crisis (Springer, 2021). Carson is a graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University (BFA, MA) in Montreal, and he is a founding member of the North Country Cinema media arts collective in Calgary.
Daniel Racicot is a veteran freelance motion picture editor. After graduating from Seneca College in 2006, Dan began editing music videos having edited for videos for some notable artists and directors.
After over 200 videos, including multiple-award-winning videos and nominations, Dan began furthered his career by cutting commercials and began editing a variety of large national campaigns.
In 2008 Dan worked alongside Warren P. Sonoda editing “The Puck Hogs”, which would go on to a successful festival run and a stint on the movie network.
Many other short films and features have followed. Most recently television has become the focus and Dan has edited a number of series, most recently lead editing a brand new series, “Comedy Cab”.
Richard Fung is a Cinematographer, Producer and Director known for THE JOURNEY (2014), THE INSPIRED SOULS (2013), BRAMULA (2011), FIRST INK (2009), and CALVIN CLARINGTON (2008). An honours graduate from Humber College, Richard’s many filmmaking awards include: 2nd Place in the Fall 2008 24 hour Film Challenge in Toronto for Monster Face, Top 3 Distinguished Documentary for My Universe and Winner for Best Broadcast at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival in the Real Ideas Studio program for The Art of Pitching, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival for the Real Ideas Studio program for Lies on the Prize, Rogers Audience Choice Award for THE INSPIRED SOULS at the 2013 Regent Park Film Festival, and the RBC Emerging Directors Award recipient for THE JOURNEY at the 2014 Regent Park Film Festival. Richard is now the Co-Founder and Director of Production for Black Belt Productions Inc.
Raj Nandy has been a respected freelancer in the Film and Television industry for over 10 years and has taught cinematography at TFS since 2018. His dedication to creating compelling images has made him sought after to work on an array of projects, filmed across North America as well as Europe, Africa and the Middle East. As a camera assistant, camera operator or director of photography Raj has worked on projects ranging from reality TV, to festival run documentaries, corporate videos, commercials, short films and episodic TV series. He has contributed to programs appearing on networks such as History, Vice, CBC, HGTV, Discovery, Food network, TVO, CNN, PBS, Netflix and more.
Andrew Cromey is a Toronto-based filmmaker focusing on narrative and documentary directing, cinematography and editing. His most recent editorial works include Qadr (2020), Mother Is Back (2021), Fourth Floor (2021), and Take My Hand To Heaven (2022). A variety of work for CBC (CBC Short Docs, CBC Doc Channel, and CBC Gem): Portrayal (2020), Shook (2019), Way Forward (2019), and The Waiting Game (2021). In 2018, Andrew produced the live music series U Music Sessions for Universal Music Canada, funded by the Canadian Media Fund and released on Vevo. He has worked with a variety of clients including CNN, Bell Media, 60 Second Docs, Island Records, OMNI Television, and various other charities and foundations. He has traveled internationally on various projects across Canada, the US, Europe, and East Africa. Andrew is a current associate member of Canadian Cinema Editors and the Alliance of Documentary Editors.
He attended York University’s Film program and graduated in 2006 where he specialized in film and digital cinematography as well as non-linear digital editing. Andrew has filled multiple roles in his 15 years’ experience in the film industry as a Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Assistant Editor, and Colorist as well as other various roles as an Assistant Director, Compositor, EPK Videographer, and Camera Operator.
Andrew’s teaching style is a mixture of technical know-how, best practices, and personal anecdotes based on real-world experience.
Sonia Kappaya has been working in the film industry for over 6 years. Her projects include a feature film that premiered at the New York International Film Festival and won 3 awards including Best Actress, Best Film and the Audience Choice Award. The same film went on to other festivals and won awards there as well. Sonia has made 3 international feature films and has also produced numerous short films. Sonia spent time working in different areas of filmmaking before joining the production department. She has worked on productions under the capacity of audio engineer, first assistant director, second assistant director, assistant camera and then finally production manager.
Andrew is a Writer and Director for film and television, based in Toronto, Canada. He is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School, with a diploma in screenwriting. His short films, Lovebites and Word, have toured international film festivals and been distributed worldwide. He has directed spots for TELUS and Coca-Cola. His digital series, Millions, received acclaim from online critics internationally, including Tubefilter, and toured film festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto, and won him Best Director at the 2013 Marseille Web Fest in France. His latest short film, Sleepwalk, is about a woman who sleepwalks, and her husband who must take care of her, despite their failing marriage.
Ash Catherwood, an actor and creator, has been hard at work on both sides of the camera for over a decade. As an advocate for the importance of actors to take the reigns on their own careers, he’s created/starred in several multimillion viewed webseries (Microwave Porn) and recently produced/starred in a feature film (Synchronicity- in post-production), and a short film (A Teachable Moment) featured in Tribeca film festival, and repped by Telefilm at Cannes.
He was a co-founder of the IWCC, an organization dedicated to digital story creation in Canada, and sat as it’s president for several years.
Paul de Silva is a Gemini award-winning film and Television Producer/Director/Writer and Media and Arts and Culture Consultant. His career has spanned television broadcasting, independent film and television production, journalism, public education, and inter-cultural communications.
He is currently the Co-Director of the International Diaspora Film Festival based in Toronto, Canada and Executive Producer for A4 One Media Productions, a multi-platform production company. He was formerly Vice President of Programming for Vision TV /One, The Body Mind and Spirit Channel and previously Vision TV’s Director of Independent Production and an Executive in charge of production at CBC Drama for the award-winning series “Inside Stories”.
In the six years he was at Vision he was responsible for commissioning documentary, drama, and music programs both in Canada and internationally, focusing on multi-faith and multi-cultural issues, including the Gemini nominated comedy series Lord Have Mercy! and the Music/Documentary series “Soul Music”.
He was Project Director for Canada One TV, an application to the CRTC for an Independent Drama-focused TV/Internet channel.
He is a former Human Rights Officer with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a journalist with CBC News, and a Communications officer with the United Nations Environment Programme based in Nairobi, Kenya.
He is currently a PhD candidate in the York Ryerson Joint Programme in Communications and Culture and undertaking research in the area of the economics and cultural policies affecting screen based media in Canada.
George D’Amato is a feature film, television, commercial film maker, consultant, and teacher.
This transplanted New Yorker grew up on beautiful Long Island New York. He is a graduate of 3 New York Institutes: The New York University Tisch school of the arts film school, The Actor’s Studio and The International Centre of Photography. His films are characterized by nonlinear stories, satirical subject matter, and characteristics of Neo noir film. He is widely considered as great visual artist with a flair for touching, emotional stories. He has worked all over the world directing and producing film and television. Some of his clients include HBO, National Geographic, The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. His work has been recognized by every notable film festival around the world. The list includes the Cannes film festival, The Sundance film festival, The Raindance film festival UK, The Berlin film festival, Palm Spring film festival, The Houston film festival, and the Atlanta film festival.
Film and advertising awards include The Cannes Gold Lion,The Gold Cleo, The One Show, Gold Bessie, Craft Award for Directing, Directors Guild of America, and The Golden Marble. He wrote and directed a commercial for ESPN called Balls” that debuted on the Super bowl. Meanwhile, his work for “Highway Speeding” remains in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Grant Cronyn has been developing, creating, and producing video content for some of North America’s largest brands for over 20 years. Be it invigorating the commercial and corporate learning space or working on independent Canadian films and documentaries, his passion for storytelling and bringing ideas to life is readily apparent. Beginning his career as an editor, compositor and animator, Grant’s filmmaking journey has since expanded his range as a writer, director, executive producer – even craft services (he makes a mean “on-set grilled cheese”).
When he is not collaborating on bringing original and entertaining video content to life for his clients, he’s sharing his industry experience and insights with students at the Toronto Film School in his side-hustle for the soul; or hanging out with his two boys.
Having graduated from the Toronto Film School, as a graduate with the highest cumulative GPA, Emilija was accepted into the CMPA Screen – based Media Production Program, where she gained experience regarding international co-productions, film funds, budgeting, tax credits and delivery processes.
Emilija’s primary base is Toronto, where she has worked as an essential member of the production teams on numerous big-brand commercials and has produced a number of short- and long-format projects. She also collaborated extensively in Europe on high-budget projects commissioned by international studios, brands, corporations, and government agencies. When it comes to narrative work, she has been working on a number of projects supported by Canadian and Ontario Arts Councils that explore current sociopolitical matters in Canada and give opportunities to marginalized artists and talent. She also maintains her international presence, mainly by providing consultations to European production companies that operate as service productions for North American content.
In between projects, Emilija teaches Budgeting & Scheduling and Production Management at her alma mater, Toronto Film School, where she is currently developing a master’s course with the faculty.
Shahram Tabe started his film career as a TV actor at 13 in his native Iran. He also appeared in a few plays before making his debut documentary for the Iranian National TV at 20. Before migrating to Canada, he produced two TV shows, including Magic Lantern, a program dedicated to the introduction of cinema, and a comedy miniseries called The Rise and Fall of Akvan the Devil. He also founded and is currently the director of Diaspora Film Festival in Toronto. He has published more than two hundred articles on cinema. He has been invited as a guest speaker by many arts institutions in Canada and the US.